Follow the Wal-Mart lawyers' money | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Follow the Wal-Mart lawyers' money

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Federal Judge Bill Wilson put his signature yesterday on a previously announced $17.5 million settlement of a lawsuit against Wal-Mart alleging race discrimination in hiring of truck drivers. It's a big win, not just in payments to a class of plaintiffs, but better jobs and, very important, a change in future employment practices.

But enough of that. Our nosy readers had a question not addressed in news coverage.

The judge signed off on paying up to 36 percent of the settlement --
$6.2 million -- in attorney fees (33 percent of the award) and litigation costs. Settlement language is on the jump. The named plaintiffs' lawyers: John Walker, Hank Bates and Chip Welch. They may have firm members to share fees with. One tangle remains to be resolved by the judge. Little Rock lawyer Ricky Hicks is  claiming a portion of the settlement for bringing a client to Walker for the case.

FRM THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

The Company has agreed not to object to the Class Counsel’s application  for reasonable attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, and costs so long as such application does not exceed the amount of $6,283,000 for work performed and costs and expenses incurred through the termination of this Consolidated Litigation. Included in this amount is $5,833,000 (one third of the QSF) for attorneys’ fees and up to $450,000 for litigation costs and expenses incurred by Class Counsel. This amount fully satisfies any arguable obligation the Company may have to pay attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, and costs for and on behalf of the Plaintiffs, Class Representatives and the Settlement Class for any and all work performed and costs and expenses incurred through and including Final Approval.

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